With the NHL returning on August 1, the action is starting to pick up on gambling sites around the world. Lines are going up on who is going to win, in how many games, and so forth. Sports Interaction has added some juice to the gambling component. Along with the series prices and props, all eight series’ have top point scorer bets as well as head-to-head matchups with a wager of “who will score more points in the series? Player A or player B.” We here at Last Word on Hockey will be looking at all eight qualifying round matchups from a gambling perspective. Today we will be looking at the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes and where you can make your money in the qualifying round.
Qualifying Round Matchup: New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
The sixth-seeded Hurricanes are only a slight favourite, and perhaps that’s due to the Rangers sweeping Carolina in the teams’ four meetings in 2019–20. New York has three legitimate options at goalie in Igor Shesterkin, Henrik Lundqvist, and Alexandar Georgiev and also outmatch Carolina in terms of offensive firepower.
The Canes shocked the hockey world last postseason, but the Rangers should take this series given their offence, depth, and previous success versus the Hurricanes. While -101 is a fine price, a Rangers sweep at +600 is a mighty fine wager. New York in three.
Top Point Scorer
To little surprise, Artemi Panarin is the favourite at +200 odds, with teammate Mika Zibanejad not far behind at +350. Carolina’s Sebastian Aho at +375 rounds out the top three. To some surprise, I wouldn’t recommend any.
Panarian’s under a point-a-game against Carolina and in his playoff career, while Zibenjad has four playoff goals in 28 games. Aho’s got a mediocre six goals and three assists in 16 career games against the Rangers. There’s more bang for your buck here.
Chris Kreider +1100
Chris Kreider stays underrated. He’s slated on New York’s top even-strength and powerplay lines and has recorded 19 points in 27 games against the ‘Canes. With the +1100 odds, Kreider has value compared to the flashier names.
Ryan Strome +1800
Centring Panarian allowed Ryan Strome to cruise to a career-high in points despite the shortened season. He’s also nearly a point-a-game player versus Carolina with five goals and 12 assists in 22 games. In a five-game series, Strome’s a fabulous pick.
Jesper Fast +4000
Jesper Fast playing with Panarin and Strome and has +4000 odds should be enough, but choosing the last player on this list has more to it. Fast has 14 points in 24 games against Carolina and has the best shooting percentage (vs. their opponent) of all listed players.
Not So Fast
Teuvo Teravainen +650
For whatever reason, Teuvo Teravainen‘s points against the Rangers and in the playoffs drop from his career averages. Teravainen was nearly a point-a-game player in 2019–20, but this could be a tough matchup for him and plenty of other Hurricanes.
Jaccob Slavin +2200
If you think you’re finding extreme value with Jaccob Slavin at over +2000 odds, you’re mistaken. In 34 total games, Slavin’s yet to score a goal against either the Rangers or in the playoffs. He’s got 19 assists in those games, but Slavin’s still too risky.
Anthony DeAngelo over Dougie Hamilton is the golden ticket here, with the Panarin–Aho matchup somewhat standing out. Other than those two matchups, it’s probably best to stay away — Zibenejad over Teravainen could be another option.
Anthony DeAngelo over Dougie Hamilton +150
Hamilton’s playoff statistics aren’t too impressive, while DeAngelo has nine points in 11 career games versus the Hurricanes. Of course, a counterargument is DeAngelo never playing in the postseason, but Hamilton hasn’t set the bar high with 18 points in 38 games.
Artemi Panarin over Sebastian Aho -125
Panarin’s 15 points in 16 games against Carolina isn’t too shabby, while Aho is just averaging over .5 points-per-game against the Rangers. Factor in a career-high 95 points for Panarin this season and he has value over his fellow European.
New York and Carolina is a tricky qualifying round series. Numbers show the Rangers have an edge and therefore value, but the Hurricanes were the Cinderella story just last season. I’m still sticking with New York here, throwing half a unit on the Rangers in three at +600.
I’ve also bet .25 of a unit on Chris Kreider (+1800) and Jesper Fast (+4000) to lead the series in scoring, and a full unit on Anthony DeAngelo to outscore Dougie Hamilton at +150. Four players at all plus odds, three of which are over +600 — let’s ride.
The choice is yours and yours alone. But we are here to guide through this difficult process. Again this is for entertainment purposes only. Nothing guaranteed, and please enjoy responsibly.
Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images